Ross Mackenzie

A snowy flurry of recent quotations on miscellaneous topics:

- Wall Street Journal reporters Susan Carey and Melanie Trottman, on U.S. airlines' economic outlook: "Several large airline operators, including Continental, Alaska Air and the newly merged US Airways, (were in the black in 2005). Among the discounters, which now control pricing on major routes, perennially profitable Southwest forecasts a 15-percent jump in profits for 2006. JetBlue, which (had) an unusual loss for 2005, is expected to return to profit in 2006 . . . .Meanwhile, seven airline stocks are trading near their 52- week highs."

- China authority Steven Mosher, in a review of the book "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday: "The pinnacle of state exploitation (under Chinese Communist tyrant Mao Zedong) was reached with the people's communes, which were so efficient at squeezing China's villagers that tens of millions of them starved to death as a result. The food exported to pay for Mao's atomic bomb, the authors conclude, cost 38 million lives. Such losses were inconsequential for this ruthless megalomaniac, who blithely declared that, in pursuit of hegemony, 'half of China may well have to die.'" (Ed. Note: "Mao: The Unknown Story" is on sale this week at the Townhall Book Service for 20% off.)

- President Bush, on Islamist terrorism: "We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. And we will not tire, and we will not rest until the war on terror is won."

- Rhonda Winfield of Stuarts Draft, Virginia, mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer, killed at 19 by a roadside bomb in Iraq: "Anyone who's experienced those uniforms coming to the door has the right to make their position known. I can understand wanting to protect any other mother from having to hear that news. But if you follow what (Cindy Sheehan) says, then our children's lives have been given in vain, and I know that's not true. . . . .If we (pull out of Iraq), that tells the world we've cut and run. You can't change your opinion just because it hit your child."

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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